Firstly, don’t panic!
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy the property or that you’ll never be able to sell it in the future.
Just as a Home Inspection might reveal that the property has a leaking crack in the foundation wall, a high radon test result simply means that you have been alerted to a potential concern that you probably want to resolve before continuing with the purchase.
Just as you might wish to negotiate a discount on the property price if you discover it needs a new damp course, you should speak to your vendor about the results and the fact that remedial works are required.
The nice thing is with the radon concern, the OCRMI protocol lays out a couple of solutions that will be outlined in your report.
A test reported as “Red”, as in your case, indicates that a radon remediation should be conducted immediately or as agreed to between you and the seller.
If the seller chooses not to mitigate prior to the residential dwelling sale, we recommend that you ask the lawyer handling your side of the purchase to hold back money in an escrow account for the cost of mitigation.
Since mitigation systems vary from house to house, we also recommend that you ask a C-NRPP Mitigation Professional an estimate.
The estimate should include a cost for a re-test of the property by an independent tester (perhaps the same OCRMI inspector who identified the concern in the first place) to ensure the proper installation and functionality of any radon mitigation system by the C-NRPP Professional. This removes any conflict of interest, real or perceived.
If you are unable to find a C-NRPP Mitigation Professional, an estimated amount, in Ontario of the total price to hold back is $3,000 for a home with a regular basement or built on-slab and between $3,000-$10,000 if the home is built on a crawlspace. (Cost increase is for labour charges if crawlspace is difficult to access)
Once the mitigation has been completed and tested as OK, any funds remaining in escrow would be passed back to the seller.
Sellers sometimes complain at this solution, but those that do need to be reminded that they are responsible for selling a home that is safe and habitable to live in. Not disclosing a health-defect in a Home can lead to expensive litigation such as fraud. For the relatively small amount to make the home “safer”, with the possibility of getting some money back at the end, there is really no reason for sellers to complain. After all, there is a quid-pro-quo when it comes for their turn to buy as they could be on the receiving end of this scenario.
Finally, once a home has a properly installed, working radon mitigation system it actually has a selling feature that might help you sell it in the future. Radon awareness is becoming more prevalent and when it comes time to sell this is likely to be a hot topic.